Unless We Forgive, We Won’t Be Forgiven!
Furthermore, when we say “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive” but we do not forgive, we are indirectly asking for our punishment. “Lord, as I don’t forgive, you shouldn’t forgive me!”
This is a very humanely condition put in the prayer Our Father by Christ Himself. If we abide it, our multiple sins will be forgiven! We won’t be forgiven unless we forgive! You know what the Lords said: when you come to church and you bring your gift – your wafer and candle – to the Divine Altar, and you remember that you have argued with somebody or you are angry with him, don’t bother to bring your gift, put it back from where you got it, and go first to reconcile with your brother. Only after that come and bring your gift. Otherwise it will not be received and your prayers will be in vain!
Furthermore, when we say “And forgive us…. As we forgive” but we do not forgive, we are indirectly asking for our punishment. “Lord, as I don’t forgive, you shouldn’t forgive me!” This is the understanding of the prayer. I hate my neighbour for all evil he has done to me. I cannot forgive so God will not forgive me. And when I ask Him to forgive me, then instead of forgiveness I receive punishment because of my condition. I ask “Forgive me, as I also forgive”. But I don’t forgive! “Don’t forgive me either, Lord!” This is how we pray to God.
(Translation from: Arhimandrit Ioanichie Bălan, Ne vorbeşte Părintele Sofian Boghiu, Editura Episcopiei Romanului, Roman, 1997, p. 46)